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Schedules & Typical Day

Live-in vs. Commmuter

Participant Expectations

What to Pack

Check-in and Check-out



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Please feel free to contact our office at any time with any questions you may have. We have a fully-trained staff available to assist you Monday - Friday (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) with any of your needs.  

General Questions


What is the difference between middle school explorations and pre-college explorations?


Middle school explorations are offered to students who will have completed grades 6-8 at the end of the 2018-2019 school year. Pre-college explorations are for students who have completed grades 9-11 by the end of the 2018-2019 school year.


How large is each exploration?


Most explorations are limited to 20 students or fewer to allow one-on-one instruction. Some programs - like backpacking and mountaineering - are kept smaller to ensure safety. We train and employ more than three hundred instructors, activity counselors, residence counselors, and staff a large staff of over 80 instructors/TAs and more than 65 counselors. We intentionally keep our student-to-staff ratio low at approximately 10:1.


If I stay for more than one exploration, do I have to leave campus during the weekend?

If you elect to come for two or more consecutive weeks of Summer Youth Programs, we offer exciting weekend activities in the area. Stayover fees are $125 per weekend and include meals, lodging, and supervised excursions. Weekend activities can include beach barbecues, copper mine tours, a trip to historic Fort Wilkins State Park, hiking, kayaking, boat tours, and more.

Where will I stay?

Our live-in participants enjoy a taste of campus living in Michigan Tech's largest residence hall, Wadsworth Hall. Tap-access is required to enter both the building and the individual halls. Participants have access to residence hall laundry facilities (minimal fee), recreation areas, and lounges. We have a full-time, live-in counseling staff who provide supervision, interact with participants, and help ensure safety.

Who will I room with? Will they be close to my age?

We take great care to match participants with a roommate of the same gender who is close in age, but from a different place. Floors are divided by gender.

We encourage participants to broaden their horizons and room with someone new. However, some students prefer rooming with someone they already know, like a sibling or friend. These requests are honored whenever possible. Both friends must request each other on their Confirmation Packets. If you request to room with a friend, but your friend does not request you, you will not be placed together, and it will not be possible to switch rooms when you arrive.

Will there be college students in my residence hall?

While we share Wadsworth Hall with Michigan Tech students during the summer, Summer Youth Programs participants will have exclusive use of the third and fourth floors. Swipe access points limit the access only to Summer Youth Programs participants and staff.

Are the residence halls or campus buildings air-conditioned?

While a few classrooms may be air-conditioned, the majority of spaces and all residence hall rooms are not. We recommend that all students bring a small personal fan; it can get quite warm in Houghton during the summer.

Can I commute?

Programs are available at a reduced fee for students who wish to provide their own daily transportation. Lunch is included, and commuters are strongly encouraged to attend evening recreational activities. Commuting students must reside with adults (parents, relatives, or family friends). Please see Live-in vs Commuter for more details about commuting.

Is there recognition for my participation?

Upon successful completion of your program, you will be awarded a certificate. We recommend that you put it in your high school portfolio. You may wish to refer to it when applying for jobs, colleges, or honors programs.

You also are eligible to apply for the Summer Youth Scholars Award, Summer Youth Diversity Incentive Award, a scholarship available only to Summer Youth Programs alumni who enroll as undergraduates at Michigan Tech.

After I apply, what's next?

You will receive a personalized Confirmation Packet once we receive your application and deposit. In it, you'll find important forms that must be completed and returned. Shortly before the start of your program you'll receive a Welcome Packet with information about registration, campus life, what to bring, and more. Keep this packet for reference as the summer approaches.


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Financial Questions

How much do Summer Youth Programs cost?

We remain one of the most affordable programs in the nation, and we intentionally keep our costs low so that our programs are accessible to as many people as possible. Note: fees may vary; please see exploration descriptions as well as the Tuition and Fees page for specific costs.

Are there any financial awards available?

We recommend you check out either our Competitive Scholarship Programs or Other Scholarships for information.

Can I cancel my enrollment?

See Cancellation Policy for information.

When is the balance due?

For Summer Youth Programs, the remaining balance (including bus fees, stayover fees, etc.) is due June 1.

For Competitive Scholarship Programs, the registration fee is due ten days after you receive your acceptance notification. This is so that we can complete your enrollment and guarantee your spot.

See Dates and Deadlines for information about deadlines and payment schedules.

What if my program is full?

We are always happy to help you find another exploration to fit your interests. Or if you prefer, we can place your name on a waiting list and notify you if space becomes available. If you haven't been transferred from a waiting list to an exploration by the start of the program, your entire payment (including the deposit) will be refunded.

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Transportation Questions

Visit Transportation for more detailed information on transportation.

How do I get to Michigan Tech? Where is it?

Michigan Tech is located in Houghton, Michigan, near the shore of Lake Superior in the beautiful Upper Peninsula. Check out a campus map for more information.

Arranging transportation early will ensure smooth travels. Early arrangements will also allow our staff to prepare for your arrival and be ready to give you a great welcome. See Transportation for more information about transportation options, including car, air, and bus.

Where is Wadsworth Hall relative to the rest of campus?

The hall is located on the south side of US Highway 41, near the east side of campus.

Where can my family stay in the area?

Many people use the trip to Michigan Tech as a vacation for the entire family. The area is well known for its scenic beaches and waterfalls, unique shopping, historic downtowns, and tourist attractions. Cottages, hotels, bed and breakfasts, and camping are available in the area. For more information, visit www.keweenaw.info.

Is someone available to pick me up from the airport/bus/etc. when I arrive? Will they drop me off when I am departing?

Yes! Summer Youth Programs staff members will pick up and drop off any participant as long as we have prior notice. Please complete the transportation section of the application, indicating the time of your arrival and departure. If your plans change, please notify our office as soon as possible so we can make the appropriate arrangements.

Can I arrive a day early, or leave a day late?

You must get prior approval if you wish to arrive early or depart late, so call our office to check. In most cases, we can accommodate your request. There is a $75 charge for each extra day, which covers counselor supervision, room fees, and meals. Please be aware that late departure on at the end of the last week of programs is not available. See Tuition and Fees for more information.

Can I drive myself to campus?

Yes. You must check your keys at the SYP front desk, as students office-students are not allowed to leave campus alone during their exploration. Students will be required to purchase a parking pass - please see the Live-in vs. Commuter page for details about parking.


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Pre-Program Questions


When does a specific program run?

Our programs start in mid-June and run through the first week in August. To find the dates of a specific program visit Course Catalog for more information.

When will we receive information regarding the programs?

For Summer Youth Programs, you will receive a Confirmation Packet approximately two weeks after we have processed your application and deposit.

For Competitive Scholarship Programs, we will notify you that we have received your application within two weeks of applying. We will notify all applicants of their admissions status in mid-May.

When will I need to return my Health History, Community Standards, and Parental Consent Forms?

Forms for all programs must be returned to the Summer Youth Programs office no later than two weeks before you arrive on campus (see Applications and Forms for details). A Health History, Community Standards, and Parental Consent Form must be on file in order to attend an exploration. All required forms will be sent with your Confirmation Packet.

If I am staying for more than one session, what happens over the weekend? Will I change rooms?

The weekends here at Michigan Tech are awesome! Weekend stayovers cost $125 and include everything you need to have fun and relax-room and board, all meals, fun activities, and local excursions. We offer a wide variety of weekend stayover trips including: 

  • A guided tour of an inactive copper mine
  • A Pictured Rocks boat tour on Lake Superior
  • Barbequing at Great Sand Bay
  • A tour of Historic Fort Wilkins
  • Kayaking
  • Traveling to an Indian Pow-Wow
  • Boat tours on scenic Portage Lake
  • Hiking into Lake of the Clouds

We try our best to make sure that stayover participants keep the same room, but we cannot guarantee this.
We will have counselors on duty to supervise over the weekend.

Do I need spending money?

We recommend bringing $30 to $40 of spending money per week, but it is not required. The exploration fee covers all instructional materials, so you only need spending money to buy merchandise or for some optional evening activities.


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Registration Questions


Where do I go to register when I arrive?

See Check-In and Check-Out for information.

Do parents need to be there for registration days?

We encourage parents to attend registration, but it is not necessary if all forms have been submitted.

What meals are provided on registration and checkout days?

Lunch and dinner are served during Sunday check-in for live-in participants, and breakfast is served during Saturday checkout. Parents and commuters may also buy meals on these dates. We encourage parents to have a meal in the residence hall to get a taste of what participants will experience during their stay.


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Program Questions

What is the daily schedule?

See Schedule and Typical Day for information.

What types of things will I do in my classes?

An exploration allows you to immerse yourself in a particular field or area of interest for an entire week. Explorations are offered in seven different categories that are designed to introduce you to a world of opportunities. You'll learn new software, build bridges, or perform diagnostic chemical tests. In other explorations, you could fly a plane, edit digital photos, backpack through a scenic wilderness area, or cast molten metal. Basically, you'll learn awesome stuff through hands-on activities like working in labs, going on field trips, doing group projects, and meeting with role models.

Who teaches the classes, or explorations?

Michigan Tech faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and other specialists teach our explorations. All instructors are trained to work with students of pre-college age and meet extensively with the Summer Youth Programs coordinators to ensure that their curriculum is age-appropriate yet challenging.

To what address can my family and friends send a letter/package/money?

ATTN: (Student's Name)
Summer Youth Program
Wadsworth Hall
Michigan Technological University
1703 Townsend Drive
Houghton, MI 49931-1193

Will I have contact with students from other explorations?

Yes. Other than the classes/explorations, all recreation areas, activities, and events are open to all participants.

Is anyone allowed to check me out to go off-campus for the day/evening if they live around the area? Can I leave by myself?

You are not allowed to leave campus without an adult. Personal friends or relatives not associated with Summer Youth Programs are only allowed to visit during evening recreation time (around 4:30-10:00 PM); they must be listed on your Health History Form in the Release of Student section in order for you to go off-campus with them. Please make sure that you are signed out and back in with the residence hall coordinator at the time of the visit. No guests may go upstairs in participant rooms.

Who supervises the students in the residence hall?

Counselors, residence hall coordinators, and head counselors supervise participants whenever they are not in their explorations. We hire undergraduate mentors after a comprehensive screening process, which includes intensive training in safety, age-appropriate activities, and diversity.

Do students have constant supervision?

Yes. Participants are not allowed to leave the designated campus area without accompaniment by an SYP staff member. During recreation times, you are welcome to walk around campus, but you must sign out and sign back in when you're done.

How secure is the campus?

  • The residence halls are locked from 10:00 PM to 6:30 AM.

  • Individual rooms lock and participants are responsible for their own room keys.

  • No one is allowed on the SYP floors of the residence hall without a Summer Youth Programs ID.

  • Michigan Tech is ranked as the seventh-safest college campus in the nation.

  • Campus is patrolled by full-time police officers.

While we rarely have problems, we recognize the value of keeping valuable possessions safe. Summer Youth Programs provides a free "safe deposit" service where participants can store money and valuables such as extra cash, laptops, or other items. Valuable possessions are individually stored where the participant can access them at any time. The balance of stored cash is tracked, and participants must initial each withdrawal.

Will I be able to do laundry?

Laundry facilities are available for you to use on site. The washers are free, but dryers are 25 cents per unit of time, and are very large and can hold multiple loads. Detergent is available for purchase at the front desk.



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Health Questions

All participants must have a completed and signed Health History Form on file prior to the start of their program. See Forms for more information. See Applications and Forms for more information.

I have special dietary needs (lactose intolerant, allergies, unable to eat x, y, or z). Will you be able to accommodate this?

Please note any special dietary needs on your Health History Form. If we need more details about your needs, one of the residence hall coordinators will contact you prior to the start of the program. Our dining hall has a variety of options to fit almost any diet, including salad and sandwich bar, made-to-order stir-fry, pizza, burgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, cereal bars, toast, bagels, fresh fruit, and desserts, in addition to the hot dishes of the day. For more information, you can refer to Dining Services.

I take medication-what do I need to do?

Make sure to note any medications you are currently taking on the Health History Form, including when you take it and the dosage. Medication will need to be turned in to the SYP front desk. We make exceptions for epi-pens and emergency inhalers, which you can keep with you. We prefer that medication be in its original bottle, but feel free to bring it in a case if it's more convenient for you.

We have some over-the-counter medicine available in our office for students, but we do not have everything. If you choose to bring over-the-counter medicine, it will need to be turned in to the SYP front desk. You can request it any time you need it.

I have a special medical condition-what do I need to do?

Be sure to note any conditions on the Health History Form. One of the residence hall coordinators will contact you if necessary to ensure that we are prepared to accommodate your visit.

Where can I receive health care?

All SYP staff members receive first aid and CPR certification, and are capable of handling minor first aid needs. If you need professional attention, treatment for minor ailments and injuries is available at the Portage Medical Clinic, which is located on campus. Clinic staff includes physicians, nurses, and lab assistants. A fee will be charged for each visit and/or medication (cash, check, MasterCard, or Visa accepted). Portage Hospital, located less than ten minutes from campus, is used after clinic hours and for emergencies.


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Michigan Tech Summer Youth Programs
217 Administration Building
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, Michigan 49931-1295
(906) 487-2219


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